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FitFam-er, Vy Vu

Jan 27, 2018

Hey my name is Vy, people think I love fitness but really I just do it to eat mac and cheese for every meal. I’m born and bred from the south east suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. By day, I’m the Product Development manager for the French womenswear apparel brand Camaieu. Outside of my 9-6, I can be found at 6am sweaty on the field at one of the 17 FitFam locations, or volunteering my time with Girl Gone International or Chi Fan for Charity.

I’ve been living and loving Shanghai for an amazing 5 years. I packed my bags in 2012 and travelled solo for the first time for 3 months through the US and Canada. When the savings ran dry, I landed in Hong Kong where my sister was living and entered back into the workforce, working for a German fashion company. A year later, through a previous work contact, I was offered a position with a company in Shanghai. I had never been to mainland China, so it was a tough decision to make; as it turned out it, Shanghai was where the grass was greener.

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I had never done a burpee before I met James Scott (now owner of MTHD Fitness) and his fit friends at Luwan Stadium in the Summer of 2015. I recall my friend Giulia and I thinking we had no business being on the field with these buff athletes. But, the people of TPG (The People’s Gym – as they called themselves then) were friendly and inviting, so we persisted. For the next 4 months, the trainers kept us moving and created the workout variety, whilst I became the People’s welcome wagon ensuring all newcomers felt prepared and comfortable. To know this diverse group of 6am faces kept me motivated and engaged and they became my tribe, my people, my family.

The Winter Warriors were a small handful of hardcores who persisted and continued when TPG took a break over winter. When TPG didn’t return, we evolved into FitFam and kept each other active and accountable through winter. We're dedicated volunteers who believe fitness should be available for all, no matter where you are, or who you are. That's the FitFam ethos. Last year, we added in family oriented workouts for parents and young ones, and diversified by adding in running, boxing, yoga and well being workouts. FitFam has also spread to Malaysia and France. We contribute our personalities, skills and energy without asking for anything in return, and I don’t think one person would argue they don’t get back more than what they put into it... and to me that is the definition of community.

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I love the chaos of Shanghai. I’m one of six kids, Mama is one of 12 and Papa one of 11. You can imagine every family gathering is hectic and noisy; which is maybe why this city feels like home. My least favorite thing is Shanghai's transient nature, one day you're having brunch with someone, then the next you're bidding someone else farewell. We all come here for different reasons, whether it be for lifestyle, career or love, and we unexpectedly find so many genuinely good open people amongst Shanghai’s eclectic community, it’s really rewarding and those bonds are like no other.

My favorite all-rounder spot to eat is Commune Social for so many reasons, their Iberico cheese, ham, quail egg truffle toastie and their Iberico Pork and foie-gras burger are a couple of them as well as being a great spot for groups, dates, brunch or even just a drink. I love sitting and watching the chef work their magic in the open kitchen. My favorite Bund spots are Chop Chop Club for their Char-grilled Octopus and Mercato for their 4 cheese and Truffle pizza with fresh farm egg and I love their industrial chic interior and the relaxed feel. Have an espresso martini or glass of bubbles at The Cannery to celebrate TGIF and you must have their Mac and Cheese and add bacon.

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For weekend brunches, Egg’s avocado toast with perfectly poached eggs and great caffeine options. My go-tos for quick bites and no fuss food are Homeslice's Spicy Sausage Pizza and Spread the Bagel's Parmesan Bagel with the Scallion spread.

Other than that I like to surround myself with the superwomen in my life, we exchange books, share yogurt making and fitness tips, go to comedy shows, plan our next adventures or foodie dates together. There’s also an abundance of events in Shanghai, when I get a chance I enjoy attending and supporting other community events. I adore my job and enjoy my life in Shanghai, but I don't know where my journey will take me, we all change and adapt with time.

At least for now and definitely a while Shanghai remains my soul mate.

**

Read more about FitFam and check out more action shots of Vy right here.

TELL EVERYONE

VENUES MENTIONED IN THIS ARTICLE:

  • Luwan Stadium

    • Address
      128 Zhaojiabang Lu, near Shanxi Nan Lu
      肇嘉浜路128号, 近陕西南路
    • Phone
      6445 1045

    Read more

  • Egg

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    • Address
      12 Xiangyang Bei Lu, near Julu Lu
      襄阳北路12号, 近巨鹿路
    • Phone

    A bright, cheery café from Camden Hauge (organizer of events under the SOCIAL SUPPLY umbrella like Shanghai Supperclub and the FEAST food festival), with lofted seating, coffee, Strictly Cookies, baked goods, etc. They specialize in simple all-day breakfast items... Read more

  • The Cannery

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    • Address
      Rm 106, Bldg 1, 1107 Yuyuan Lu, near Jiangsu Lu
      愚园路1107号1号楼106室, 近江苏路
    • Phone
      5276 0599

    Beautiful lounge with great food at good prices. This one is by the same team as popular Rockbund venue The Nest, but located far west of there on mellow and historic Yuyuan Lu. One of the main themes here is the sea, so fresh seafood is all over the menu. Go for the... Read more

  • The Commune Social

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    • Address
      511 Jiangning Lu, near Kangding Lu
      江宁路511号, 近康定路
    • Phone
      6047 7638

    The second restaurant in town to bear the Jason Atherton brand on its masthead. The Commune Social is a contemporary tapas, dessert and cocktail bar. The cuisine seems largely informed by former Gordon Ramsay Lieutenant Jason Atherton's frequent flier miles log.... Read more

  • MTHD Fitness

    • Address
      3/F, 98 Jiashan Lu, near Yongkang Lu
      嘉善路98号3楼, 近永康路
    • Phone
      155 0210 6145

    Developed by long-time Shanghai strength and fitness coach James Scott, MTHD Fitness is a new gym concept that banks on high-intensity exercises and technology. At the beginning of each session, gym attendees get a heart-rate monitor to track their workout.... Read more

  • This venue has now closed

    The Chop Chop Club

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    • Address
      2/F, 3 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, near Guangdong Lu
      中山东一路3号2楼, 近广东路
    • Phone
      5308 5399

    Sharing the same space as Unico before the club opens, The Chop Chop Club is traditional dining as inherited from the kitchen of your parents, with the expected flourishes and conceptual idiosyncrasies one would... Read more

  • Mercato

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    • Address
      6/F, 3 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, near Guangdong Lu
      中山东一路3号6楼, 近广东路
    • Phone
      6321 9922

    Celebrity chef Jean Georges Vongerichten charts new territory for his dining empire with his first ever Italian concept. Simple pleasures like woodfire oven pizzas, burrata cheese with sea salt or homemade rigatoni with meatballs dominate the menu. But he throws in... Read more

  • Homeslice (Found 158)

    • Address
      B1/F, 158 Julu Lu, near Ruijin Yi Lu
      巨鹿路158号B1楼, 近瑞金一路
    • Phone
      5309 9332

    From British pop-up restaurateur Nat Alexander and his partner Ken Shi, Homeslice is a no frills pizzeria with light nods to the New York origins of the main menu item; New York-style pizza -- big, oily slices served on paper plates that you fold in half like a... Read more

  • This venue has now closed

    Spread the Bagel (Nanchang Lu)

    • Address
      611 Nanchang Lu, near Xiangyang Lu
      南昌路611号, 近襄阳路
    • Phone
      136 6162 1328

    This is the brick and mortar operation for the popular online bagel delivery service of the same name. Spread's standard selection of bagels is available straight-up, with a "schmear," or in sandwich form with ingredients like smoked trout or brisket. They also sell... Read more

[Shanghai Famous]:

Shanghai Famous is a weekly SmartShanghai column focusing on people out there in the city makin' the scene. They're out there around town, shaping Shanghai into what it is, creating the art, culture, and life around us. We asked them what's good in Shanghai. We asked them what's bad in Shanghai. We asked them to tell us more, more, more about their wonderful selves.

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